WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The legend of the "Barcelos" rooster.

 This is a story about a legend.  "The legend of the Galo de Barcelos"..

The story tells us about a dead roosters miraculous intervention in proving the innocence of a man who had been falsley accused of stealing silver and was sentenced to death.

The silver was taken from a great landowner in "Barcelos" (north of Portugal).  The people of the city were looking for the criminal.
One day a man from neighboring 'Galicia' turned up and became the suspect.
Despite  pleading his innocence- The Galician swore that he was only passing through 'Barcelos' on a pilgrimage to "Santiago de Compostela", to complete a promise.

He was nevertheless arrested and condemned to hang.  The Galician asked them if he could take him in front of the Judge who had condemned him. His request was honoured.
Arriving at the house of the Judge, who was holding a banquet at that time, with friends. The Galician affirming his innocence , and pointed to a roasted 'cock' on top of the banquet table , and explained.

"It is as certain that i am innocent as it is certain that the rooster will crow when they hang me"
 The Judge pushed aside his plate and decided not to eat  the rooster, but still ignored the Galician's appeal.

While the pilgrim was being hanged.  The rooster stood up on the table and crowed as the 'Galician' had predicted.
Realizing his error, the Judge ran to the gallows, only to find out that the Galician had been saved by a poorly made knot in the rope.
 The Pilgrim was immediately freed and sent off in peace.

Some years later the Galician returned to 'Barcelos' to sculpt the calvery or cruz fix to the lord of the rooster.  In praise of the Virgin Mary and st James.

The monument is located within the Archeological Museum in ' Paço de condes'..and is part of the 17th century 'Calvary' that is part of the collection of the museum..

This is a legend dear friends.. and many stories of the "Rooster" have been told.   This is the one that i learnt about over 40 years ago.
When telling any tale.. it always changes from smaller to larger.
Sometimes legends are based on truth's.. who knows if this was so.

Most Portuguese households have a 'galo' in their kitchen.
There are now some modern designers out there making some beautiful 'roosters'.

Hope you enjoy this read.


  1. Interesting legend-the roosters are very pretty!

    1. Thank you Jan for coming over and leaving your comment.

  2. Whatever the truth is that was a fascinating read Val! Suzy x

  3. How interesting, Val. Is that where the Portuguese love of ornamental cockerels comes from? I have never visited mainland Portugal, but once holidayed in Madeira and couldn't miss the cockerel decorations.

    1. Yes that is correct Perpetua.. The cockrels come from the Rooster story of Barcelos.
      Madeira is a lovely Island. Mainland Portugal is beautiful.. who knows maybe one day you might visit this lovely country.
      Thank you for your comments.

  4. really cool rooster figures and a great legend to keep them going!

    1. Thanks Tex. A tale legend is sometimes fun.. especially from other countries.

  5. What a fascinating story! Thank you for sharing it with us. Whether folklore or fact, it's a beautiful tale.

    1. Thank you Sanda.
      It is a fascinating tale and legend.

  6. Good Morning, Val. Love your new look and the header photo is gorgeous. Great legend. I love all the old legends and you never know what is truth and what is embellishment. It's all fun. I thanked you for your kind comments to me in reply form from your comment. Usually this doesn't work for me for what ever reason so I always thank you on your blog. (like now, in case it didn't work again) but maybe with the new google stuff it will..Happy Wednesday..Judy

    1. Thank you Judy. It is a great legend. lots of fun.
      Judy.. my e mail.. is valerietilsten59@gmail.com ---------I have an o where the e is in tilsten.. i have tried to change it.
      but I always get your comments.
      Happy days Judy.

  7. Hi Val, well it's me again. I just clicked back into my comment page and my thank you did not go through as usual. Why do you think I can't get through to you using your e-mail address..Judy

  8. Dear Judy.. I have just come to my blogger comment moderations.. You are here of course.
    try the e mail that i gave above.. my other followers that use e mail..dont seem to have problem.
    Thank you for coming over.
    best wishes val.

  9. Truth, Legend, or Tale...it is still a story to remember. The blue and white tile is very nice.

  10. Dear Val,very interesting post and legendThe roosters are very pretty!Very beautiful tile!I like the white and blue color!
    Hope you have a lovely day!

  11. I haven't found an answer to the posts not showing Val - it is obviously a blogger blip.
    Glad to have discovered this. I have one of those little cockerels which I think I bought in Spain years and years ago. It is interesting to finally know what the story about the rooster is - thank you to such a fascinating read.

  12. What an enchanting story of the rooster, Val, and I love all the colors on this beautiful bird. I enjoy hearing about legends, they are very interesting to me.

    The picture on your Header is wonderful. Are those daisies? Happy Friday, Val.

    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  13. I remember receiving one of these rooster's from some friends of my parents as a child. They must have visited Portugal. I was delighted to see them when we visited Portugal and also read the history of these colourful roosters.
    Sarah x

  14. Thanks for sharing this Val. love learning about these legends. I have a little blue dish with the rooster that came from Portugal that was my mums and looks just like your blue tile. It now sits in pride of place in my dining room.
    Patricia x

  15. What a lovely legend, and I always have been fond of a rooster/cockerel. I think they are magnificent looking birds. They are lovely ceramics, Val. xx


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